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2005 Tatiarra Trademark Shiraz
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- Cellar 5 - 6 years (2016-2017)
- Closure: Cork
Tatiarra is an Aboriginal word meaning 'beautiful country'. The French have long known about 'Tatiarra'; they call it 'terroir', and the beautiful country they seek is that perfect site where vines are capable of reaching vinous perfection each year. Such terroir resonates with philosophical concepts of perfection: "Perfection is not uniform but diversified, otherwise perfection would be similar. It is not static,it is dynamic. Like approaching eternity, perfection signifies unending progress - a never ceasing advance. To live is to change and to be perfect is to change often."
Such is the lot of the viticulturalist or winemaker who seeks perfection amongst the wild interactions of terroir. Soils and drainage conditions will be modified slowly but seasonal changes such as sunlight hours, frosts and the quantity, timing and distribution of rainfall (including storms & hail) are the dynamics of every 'Tatiarra'. The seasons will always, through the changing forces of nature, have something more to teach the viticulturalist. The 2005 growing season at Tatiarra was underscored by a lack of rain, and despite what protagonists of dry land farming might say, without water at critical times in a vine's cycle, perfection is not possible. Vines must not be stressed, but rather kept in tension. Stress during flowering or variason will result in a loss of quality and quantity of crop. To ripen fruit properly, a vine needs leaves. Lack of water during the ripening period will cause the basal leaves to drop off - thus causing the fruit to ripen by shrivel rather than develop its sugar profile naturally - and yes, you can taste the difference. The continued drought has in the short term given the viticulturalist who irrigates with discretion, a sense of control which unpredictable rainfall patterns cannot.
Obsessed with delivering the winemakers perfect fruit, Tatiarra's viticulturalists Ian Rathjen and Bob Wilson know that canopy and water management are of supreme importance. Winemakers Ben Riggs and Peter Flewellyn are charged with the task of harvesting the grapes at the moment of perfection. Tatiarra continues to make only Shiraz, and with each successive vintage a perfect expression of the variety is sought.
The Tatiarra Cambrian Shiraz is arguably the vineyards 'purest' extraction, complex, masculine and complete with minimal winemaking intervention. Caravan of Dreams Shiraz Pressings is foremost a wine of incredible concentration, a Cambrian 'megalith'. It's the winemaker's expression of the season. Trademark Shiraz is a tribute wine - the best two barrels from Tatiarra are blended with the best two barrels that Ben Riggs selects from McLaren Vale. The result is a compelling essay in vinous refinement and elegance.
Inter-regional blending has historically produced some of Australia's great wines. The Tatiarra Trademark Shiraz was developed in response to winemaker, Ben Riggs' dream to produce an extraordinary Shiraz from two of Australia's top Shiraz producing areas, Heathcote and McLaren Vale. Trademark Shiraz was always going to be very limited, mainly due to the fact that the top barrels from McLaren Vale would be difficult to source on a continuing basis - after all, why sell your top barrels? However, with Ben's connections, the concept was accepted as a means of promoting the virtues of each district and producing a new flavour profile that is quite unique.The 2005 Trademark incorporates two of the best 'Mr Riggs' barrels. The 50/50 blend of Shiraz from the two regions produces a wine that has great elegance and complexity.
Totally opaque black crimson colour with deep dark crimson red hue. The nose is very perfumed and much more expressive aromatically than the 2004. Lifted scents of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, dark plum and liquorice followed by some confectionary vanillin end notes. Magnificent concentration and flavour intensity with a voluptuous silky smooth texture. The palate boasts rich mouthfilling flavours of ripe blackberry, liquorice and confectionary followed by some dark plum and spice. Silky smooth beautifully integrated tannins. Exceptionally long aftertaste of blackberry, liquorice, confectionary and blackpepper.
Cellar a further 5-6 years.
First Tasted December 2006
Opaque black crimson colour with black crimson hue. Like all Tatiarra wines, this wine has paint like cling to the glass walls. Violet top note, superb lifted aroma of spice, blackberry and white pepper abound. Big, generous 'joosy' palate, yet in spite of its voluptuous character, there is a sense of elegance which the McLaren Vale component delivers. Concentrated flavours of ripe blackberry, plum, liquorice and confectionary. Perfect balance - refined structure. Very long aftertaste of blackberry, plum and spice.
Cellar: 10-12 years (2016-2018)